HC Deb 03 June 1943 vol 390 c351
36. Mr. Messer

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the need for an emergency domiciliary medical service; and whether he proposes to take any steps to meet this need in view of the shortage of general practitioners?

Mr. E. Brown

The ordinary practice is for a doctor to make arrangements by which his patients may obtain treatment from a colleague in an emergency when he himself is not available, and I am not aware of any general need for the establishment of collective schemes for this purpose. I do not think therefore that it is necessary for me to take steps for the promotion of such schemes, but where such a scheme is adopted by general consent I am ready to do what I can to facilitate its working.

Mr. Messer

Does that mean that the right hon. Gentleman has not received the report of the Medical Practitioners' Union on this question?

Mr. Brown

No, but the evidence is known.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Is there any arrangement between the right hon. Gentleman's Department and the Fighting Services so that districts shall not be denuded of medical practitioners?

Mr. Brown

There is a medical priorities committee sittting.